Welcome back to the Baseball Roundup! This week, the Warriors came off their first series loss of the 2020 season and tried to get back on track during the fourth week of CCAA play as they take on Cal State Los Angeles in a four-game set in Turlock.
Where the Warriors Stand
After losing three games in last week’s four game series against Cal State Monterrey Bay, the Warriors went into this week being unraked in national Division II play. Additionally, the Warriors took a major fall in the CCAA standings, dropping to sixth place.
One of the few bright spots coming off of last week is ace Rylan Tinsley. Tinsley remains undefeated on the season and is a strong contender for the CCAA ERA title.
A series against the struggling Cal State LA Golden Eagles (4-12 record) was a great opportunity for the Warriors to get back into the win column.
Friday, March 6
Rylan Tinsley pitches for the Warriors every Friday. Rylan Tinsley has yet to lose on Friday’s. In matter of fact, Rylan Tinsley hasn’t lost a game, in general. This Friday was more of the same.
Tinsley took the ball and never gave anybody else an opportunity to take it from as he went the distance for the second time this season. During the complete game masterpiece, Tinsley struck out 12 batters while only walking one batter and surrendering one run. Tinsley’s ERA stood at 1.20 after the final pitch and improved his record to a perfect 6-0.
The Warriors dominated with their bats as well, getting 8 runs across home plate in the contest. Catcher Matt Elser gave Tinsley tons of insurance in the seventh inning as he delivered a bases clearing double. Alexis Paz also continued his impressive season, driving in two runs on the day.
Elser explained how Tinsley’s dominance this season makes the lineup’s job easier. “I give it to Tinsley… he works hard and competes every single pitch and gives us the best opportunity on the field to win games… He knows he can go out and just dominate and that makes everything fun.”
The Warriors win the series opener, as they always seem to do, by a score of 8-1.
Saturday, March 7
Doubleheader Game #1
Last weekend, Stan State head coach Kenny Leonesio flip-flopped his number two and three starters in the rotation. After disappointing results, Coach Leonesio went back to his initial order of starters in the doubleheader.
Tyler Meyer was given the start for the day’s first game, but Leonesio and Meyer didn’t get the results they were looking for. Meyer failed to complete his fourth inning of work after the Golden Eagles scored six runs. Not all runs were Myer’s fault, though, as extra runs were able to get across after several Stan State fielding errors.
After Meyer’s departure, the Warrior bullpen surrendered an additional eight runs. With the score at 14-2 in the ninth inning and the game just about wrapped up, junior first baseman Douglas Gragg entered the game as a pinch hitter and took advantage of the opportunity, blasting a monster three-run home run. Although the game would end with the Warriors losing by a score of 14-5, Gragg’s home run gave the team a much-needed spark as they looked ahead to the second game of the day.
Doubleheader Game #2
Game two of the doubleheader was expected to be a short, seven-inning contest, but Mother Nature had a different idea.
In the beginning hour of Saturday’s nightcap, the Warriors got the scoring going early as Alexis Paz delivered an RBI single in the first. Shortstop Grant Victor had a solid game, as well, to help him break out of a terrible slump, delivering an RBI double in the second and an RBI single in the third.
The score heading into the fourth inning was 4-1 and it seemed as if Casey Carr would be cruising to his second victory of the season, but Carr would proceed to give up a game-tying, three-run home run to Golden Eagles centerfielder Jordan Myrow.
Luckily for Carr, his personal stats, and for the fans in attendance, the lead would be given right back after Jayce Gardner blasted a three-run home run of his own, right as rain began to pour on Warrior Baseball Field.
Gardner walked everyone through his pre-delay at-bat during the postgame radio press conference, which you can watch below. “It just started pouring as soon as I got into the box, and we just started battling… he was getting tired and wanted to get out of there and he just left one high and in and I just took advantage of it.”
There would be an almost two-hour rain delay in the contest, and when play resumed, there wouldn’t be much action. The score stayed the same for the remainder of the game, giving the Warriors a 7-4 win and giving Casey Carr the win.
Sunday, March 8
Zach Jones started Sunday’s scoring when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the second inning. After some more Warrior scoring, Jones extended the lead in the third when he legged out a two-RBI triple.
The series finale was a chance at redemption for Stan State starter Blake Jantz. Jantz struggled in his previous two starts, but he was able to bounce back nicely against the Golden Eagles. Jantz pitched into the seventh inning, giving up three runs on six hits. The score was 7-3 at the time of Jantz’s departure.
Stan State reliever Maxwell Pappas, who has had a solid season himself, came on in relief of Jantz and tossed a scoreless seventh inning. Pappas came back out for the eighth inning, where things went downhill quickly. Cal State LA rallied to score five runs off of Pappas in the inning and retake the lead at 8-7. This would be a lead that the Golden Eagles would not give up.
The heartbreaking loss makes it another series split for the Warriors and drops their record to 14-7 (8-7 CCAA). Next week, the Warriors will head to San Bernardino to take on the last place Coyotes.